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39 posts

Where’s the Love? Robert Indiana Sued by Former Business Partner


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With the possible exception of Milton Glaser’s I love New York, no single piece of typography has garnered more attention than Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE design. The artist originally created the image in 1964 to adorn a Christmas card being sold at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1970, a sculptural version made of corten steel was exhibited in New York.

A Match Made in Heaven: Jeff Koons’ BMW Art Car


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Jeff Koons: design sketch for the 17th BMW Art Car 2010 © Jeff Koons, Image Source: Cartype On April 6th, international art star, Jeff Koons revealed his design for his BMW art car.  The company has been commisioning artists to adorn  vehicles since 1975.  The project started when Hervé Poulain, an auctioneer and race […]

The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture, 1600-1700


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Saint Serapion (1628) by Francisco de Zurbarán A new show at the National Gallery of Art is bringing long-overdue attention to seventeenth-century Spanish painting and sculpture.  Xavier Bray, who curated The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture, 1600-1700, explains in an NGA podcast that historically, American collectors avoided these […]

The Wonderful World of Maira Kalman


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Well, Susan, 2004-05 by Maira Kalman [Image source: How Blog] The intelligent curating at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art always makes a walk through its galleries worthwhile. The ICA should also be lauded for the tremendous variety of subjects and media that it tackles. In past years, the small museum […]

Museums: Attracting a Younger Crowd


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Brooklyn Museum iPhone Application Museum-goers today are very different than they were one hundred years ago.  Art institutions have been updating their communications and marketing strategies in order to attract and hold the attention of socially active, tech-savvy visitors.  A recent special section on museums in the New York Times […]

Iran’s Cultural Heritage Under Threat


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In addition to depriving Iranians of their cultural property, a decision to turn over the artifacts to the Rubin plaintiffs would have grave effects for the museums involved and cultural institutions in general. Four American institutions could be divested of objects currently in their collections and unable to use them for research purposes.

Windstorm at Manzanar

The Art of Japanese Internment Camps at the Renwick Gallery


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An exhibition at the Renwick Gallery in Washington DC titled The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946 showcases objects made by internees. The museum’s website tells us that the Japanese word ‘gaman’ means “to bear the seemingly unbearable with dignity and patience.” This moving show explores how creativity served as a necessary way of acquiring needful things that were otherwise unavailable, provided an outlet for frustration, and reinforced bonds in a painful and alienating time.

A Case for Warhol’s Jews


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Since its in 1980, Critics have lambasted Warhol’s “Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century” as one-dimensional and exploitative. Several recent shows have reawakened the controversy surrounding the project. After traveling to San Francisco and New York in 2008-2009, the series is now on display in a retrospective at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center. In response to these shows, many contemporary reviewers have repeated the argument that Warhol was motivated solely by profit and that he trivialized important historical figures. Perhaps it is time to check our cynicism and explore how the series fits into his oeuvre and intellectual interests.

Sex in the Vienna Secession – Because Airplane Bathrooms are so Passé


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The Vienna Secession, which was designed to display works by Gustav Klimt and his contemporaries, recently decided to spice up their collection by requiring visitors to walk through a swingers club before reaching Klimpt’s masterful “Beethoven Frieze”. This strange paring is part of a project by Swiss artist, Christoph Büchel and involves a collaboration between the museum and a local swingers’ club called Element 6. The club will be open at night during the exhibition. The next morning, mattresses and other nasty remnants of the evening’s activities will be on display. I’m betting that for once, visitors won’t have to be told “don’t touch.”